from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- Moving or turning toward the south, as the south end of a magnetic needle. See magnet.
Sorry, no etymologies found.
In the southern hemisphere, of course, geomagnetic north points up and at an angle — and the magnetotactic bacteria there are south-seeking rather than north-seeking, and thus still able to head down deeper into their environment to escape oxygen.
On this land is the south magnetic pole toward which the south-seeking end of the needle always points.
(At the equator, where geomagnetic north doesn’t point up or down, there’s a mixture of north-seeking and south-seeking magnetotactic bacteria.)